SARA SAID ....
(Life and death from the viewpoint of a dog, as barked to her lady-person Vickey Stamps)
It is not quite two in the morning. I am talking to my neighborhood friend. (Just a little barking) My master disagrees and yells “Shut that up, Sara!” He makes more noise then I did. Oh well, he is a people and those kind have to be humored. I say to him “Don’t get yourself in an uproar!” and go back inside my dog apartment. My name is Sara. As you have most likely guessed I’m a dog. This is my story.
~~Looking at things from a dog’s perspective, which is truly the only right way to do things, I begin my story.
I am a Queensland Heeler. At least my mother was and my father came from a good neighborhood. I am that special thing called ‘mans best friend.’ My mom has picked a hot day in June for my birthday. I’m to be born in one of the hottest California areas one could chose. In my memories, my mother has panted out yet another sister then three brothers. OOPS world, look out. Here I come.
Six weeks have passed. A lady-person comes and paws over my family and me. I am the runt of the litter and was unwanted by other visitors who came to see about adopting us. I knew it was part of a plan. She picks me out and takes me to her person place she called home. I will allow myself to be only a little significant to her. She is not the most important part of my goal. She gives me over to a man who has the mistaken idea he is to be my master. The lady person leaves.
Terrific! She returned and picked up my sister. Oh no~~we are to become known as Sally and Sara. What a square thing to do to a couple of nice looking mutts like us. I over hear my ‘master’ say, “What made you pick out names like that?” He loves her though and lets her have her way. He and I will do some growing up and bonding. We will change from what we are. We will be good for each other.
It is time for a ‘Parvo’ and other shots. “Ouch! Hey, watch that needle, Doc! Get that cold glass thing out of my behind. My sister and I can get along just fine without your interference.” A year down the road Dog Heaven will welcome Sally with open paws. For a while her and I will have a good time. Even if she did have a pretty dumb name she made up for it in companionship.
Now for the important part. Me! These people persons have moved again. We went from hot weather to cold, then to snow country. Now we can hear the ocean roaring in our ears. I expect that the ‘master’ will continue to need more of my advice. He’ll have to put a lawn in, build a fence, plus plant and till a garden. I sure live a dog’s life.
At least he gives me a little credit. Several times a day I hear him say “Sara said~~” That is usually followed by a soft laugh from the lady-person. That man has some audacity. Of all things to have done, he put up a fence around the sides and back. Then to add insult to injury, he separated the yard with another fence and gate. He probably thinks that will keep me out of the garden. I could jump that with one paw behind me. I’ll keep it a secret for now. The first stranger to crawl over that fence will get a bite in the backside for his trouble.
It is pretty around my apartment and large yard. Because of my expert instruction he has gotten grass to grow. It is never too hot here and seldom very cold. Moisture is always in the air. Sometimes he gets out that cheap plastic thing called a leash and we go for walks. He wants to look at the ocean. I go meekly along just to keep him company. (I only pretend to be overjoyed.)
We play this game. The master takes food out of my bag of chow. He throws it into the air saying, “Catch it Sara!” He feels it will keep me on my toes. He is right. It does. He always has a smile for me. I put on quite a show in return. I entertain him by running along the side of the fence. I run a few feet, do a little fancy half jump like a baby gazelle, then run a few more feet. It is not an easy job training him. All in all he is a fairly good performer.
Today I rode in his truck. We went to the dump. It was a pretty fancy place. It made me sort of mad when he would not let me run around. He is always in such a big hurry. He has to cut the grass, till the ground again and put in another garden. He has all that he can do, plus he still has to get training from me. I expect him to listen to everything I say.
Now comes the hard part. My ‘master’ is in for hurting times. There is no easy way to get this over with. Dog Heaven has sent down word that I must return soon. Only a certain amount of time is allowed in the ‘budget of dog hood’ for things called love and friendship. My portion is almost gone. As part of the plan, I have been getting sick a lot. This has happened for several months in preparation for my coming return trip away. The ‘master’ refuses to understand some of my actions are the only way I have of saying good-by.
It is another day. He is in that place called a kitchen. I hear him telling his lady “Sara has two big lumps in her throat. She isn’t acting right. She acts like it is hard for her to eat. I thought she had been trying to eat just to please me. Now I am sure. I am going to take her to the Veterinarian’s office tomorrow.”
“Well, Doc, there you go with the needles again, and that glass thing in my behind. Have you no respect for my dignity? Go ahead. Do what you think you must. This is part of a bigger plan. You will see!”
The ‘master’ is on the phone saying to my doctor “Leukemia? I did not know dogs got that. Is she in pain? What can I do? Do you think she needs to be put to sleep? I’ll decide and let you know tomorrow.”
It is now tomorrow. His lady has talked to my doctor. The final plan is put into motion. They step up to the patio window, having pulled aside the drapes. I look at them with my soft brown eyes. My ears are upright and alert. I try to say, “Everything will be all right. I understand.” I do not want them to feel bad. My ‘masters’ voice sounds so different like a choking crying thing. Water comes from the corners of his eyes. I hear him think, “This is not manly. I must do the kind thing. I must let Sara be put to sleep. I have a responsibility not to let her suffer.” I wish he could read my words of “Thank you” I am glad for his decision. I may otherwise have suffered a lot.
Now I go for a ride in the lady’s car. She will not go with us. Since she lost her mother to ‘People Heaven’ earlier this year, this business with me is more than she can handle. She is giving us this last time alone. The doctor will give me a final shot to ease my pain so I can go where all good dogs go. We say good-by.
Much time has passed. I have spent my ration of time in ‘Dog Heaven’ and must return to be a puppy again and get another person to train. I visited the lady-persons mom when I crossed over briefly to check out my future master’s references. She is doing fine.
It will soon be time for me to be panted out of yet another earth dog mother. I will become to someone else a good friend. I know my most recent ‘master’ will grieve for a while. One day he will smile at my memory.
This is true. I know. It was a plan.
(This story is dedicated to the memory of Sara. She was such a good friend.